I actively try to avoid “the buzz” — for most definitions of the word (“beer buzz” is a whole other thing than I’m talking about here). I mean the buzz of current memes and all the popular things I’m supposed to think, feel, and be. As I’ve said before, I’m deliberately allergic to trendy — I refuse to swim in the main stream.
That applies especially to the books, TV shows, or movies, that I’m supposed to see. I’m even more resistant to things I’m supposed to either hate or love. (I still have never seen ET — never will.) I generally don’t read or watch reviews until after I’ve read or watched what they review.
Which brings me to Axiom’s End (2020) a debut novel by Lindsay Ellis.
I’ve written before about Drake’s Equation and the Fermi Paradox. The former suggests the possibility of lots of alien life. The latter asks okay, so where the heck are they? Given that the universe just started, it’s possible we’re simply the first. Maybe the crowd comes later. (Maybe we create the crowd!)
Recently, one of my favorite YouTube channels, PBS Space Time, began a series of videos about this. The first one (see below) talks about the Rare Earth Hypothesis, a topic that has long fascinated me.
The synchronicity in this is that I’d just had a thought about basic probability and how it applies to our being here…
You may know about the Drake Equation, which is an attempt to quantify the number of intelligent species that evolve in a galaxy. Depending on how you set the parameters, the answer varies from “lots!” to “almost none.” The first answer leads to Fermi’s Paradox: Okay, if there are lots of aliens… where are they? So far we’ve seen no signs (pardon the reference).
If you read science fiction you may also be familiar with the idea of Ancient Alien Ancestors (AAA) who are now long gone leaving only a legend. Sometimes there are The Ancients (now long absent), the current Elder Races (powerful, not always wise, not always kind), and the Younger Races (which Earthlings invariably belong to).
But what if we are those Ancient Ancestors?
The other day I was Wiki Walking and ended up reading about the Rare Earth Hypothesis in reference to the Fermi Paradox and the Drake Equation. We’ve discovered that most stars in our galaxy appear to have planets of some kind, although ones with human-friendly environments may be quite rare. The presence of a plethora of planets presumably provides a potentially large factor for at least one part of the professor’s pretty problem.
But it’s possible that some of its other factors are extremely small. They may be much smaller than anyone had imagined. They may be so small as to ensure that we are alone in the galaxy.
It’s even possible we are alone — or nearly alone — in the universe!
I had thought, on this third day of Chillaxmas, that to entertain and terrify you, I would post a true tale of alien invasion and species murder. I know you’re expecting the punchline to be that I would if I could, but I don’t have such a tale, so I can’t, ha, ha. Well, I do have just such a tale, and I could, I’m just not.
Not today, anyway. It’s all queued up for tomorrow, and it’s just as well. This will give me a chance to issue a little advance warning. I have pictures of the aliens! War is never for the faint of heart; it’s all the worse with an exoskeleton-wearing alien enemy!
Today, very much like Dug, I was distracted by some virtual philosophical squirrels.
I was digging through boxes I’ve carted around for four decades looking for a short science fiction story I wrote in high school. So far I haven’t found it, but I refuse to believe it’s not there somewhere. There’s a lot to go through; I’d forgotten how much writing I did in high school and into college. Most of it is embarrassing juvenile crap (I may share some of it with you just for laughs).
I did find a piece I wrote seven or so years after college. Reading it made me laugh out loud (but I’m easily amused). Perhaps it will tickle your funny bone as well.